Where is the potential for improving wound closure and management?

A driving force in medtech development is one that creates incentive for improving healthcare in ways that can be demonstrated, or at least marketed.  Put simply, if a manufacturer can produce a technology that achieves even a marginally better healthcare outcome, especially if it can be delivered at the same or, better yet, marginally lower cost, then that is an improvement in healthcare.

In the field of wound care, there is a very clear understanding that if a technology can reduce the time, complications and therefore cost of healing a wound, then such a technology should be pursued.  To make this even more precise, if a technology can simply reduce the cost of healing a wound, with considerations of cost including that time is inevitably of the essence, then that technology has upside potential.

A useful starting point for determining which wound closure and management products have such potential, whether those products are direct or adjunctive surgical closure and securement products, is to consider the different wound types and their different potential to be targeted for improved outcomes, cost or both.

Surgical wounds are usually appropriate for treatment with adjunctive surgical closure and securement products because they are created under clean conditions, the usual acute healing cascade of events begins immediately and control of the bleeding and closure process can lead to accelerated healing, improved prognosis, and enhanced aesthetic effects such as reduced scarring.

Prevalence, Healing Time and Growth of Wound Types, 2009

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC, Report #S180, "Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion, 2010-2015."

Surgical wounds offer the potential for devices to ensure hemostasis, prevent internal adhesions and anastomoses, soft tissue securement, and closure of the skin. Traumatic wounds also offer potential for skin closure products and for hemostats, and adhesion prevention during post- trauma surgery. New wound-covering sealant products may also offer potential for treatment of cuts, grazes, and burns.

Chronic wounds are generally not amenable for treatment by adhesives, sealants and hemostats unless the wound has been debrided to a sterile bleeding surface (in which case it becomes like a surgical wound), or the product offers some stimulant activity; many hemostats exhibit some inflammatory and cytokinetic activity, which has been associated with accelerated healing.

To help determine how these applications for closure and securement products may translate into market potential, it is relevant to note the incidence of the different types of wounds; the table provided in this post gives this data. The potential contribution of newly developed products to the management of these different wounds is what is driving development of novel wound closure and management technologies.